Each year in May, Australians come together to celebrate National Volunteer Week and this year is no different.
From 17 to 23 May 2021, this year’s theme is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine, exemplifying the millions of Australian volunteers who make a significant impact and improve the lives of others.
The City of Perth incorporates 170 volunteers who generously dedicate almost 20,000 hours a year for worthy causes, helping those who might be lost in the city or cooking up meals for the vulnerable.
The volunteers play an integral role in providing much needed services to the iCity Visitor Information Service, Citiplace Community Centre, Heritage Perth, Access and Inclusion Advisory Group and LGBTQIA+ Advisory Group.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said these volunteers were invaluable to the City of Perth and the local community.
“On behalf of the City of Perth, I would like to thank the volunteers for their time, energy and incredible commitment in 2021,” he said.
“What is great about our volunteers is they always deliver service with a smile. Some have been volunteering for more than 15 years, while others are new to the volunteering experience.
“We would also like to thank the thousands of volunteers who donate their time to other causes throughout the City of Perth daily. You are invaluable.”
In 2021, the iCity Ambassador service is celebrating 20 years, while 2020 marked 30 years of the Citiplace Community Centre.
Retired public servant and retailer Barry Capes has been working as an iCity volunteer for more than 12 years.
Barry helps Perth visitors find their way, answering questions or giving directions with a friendly grin.
“The secret is you must adapt to the good and the bad with a smile. I like people particularly those that can have a laugh at life,” Barry said.
Volunteering for the City of Perth’s Access and Inclusion Advisory Group for more than three years, Nobu Hara lobbies for changes to help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.
Working for Access Plus WA Deaf and as an Auslan tutor, Nobu said he would like to make more people aware about the extent of hearing loss.
“I am proud to be in a group of people who also like to advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community,” he said.
LGBTQIA+ Advisory Group volunteer Kate is a City of Perth resident and Senior Fire Engineer at Arup.
She said volunteering for the City’s advisory group was extremely rewarding, helping her feel more connected to her community.
“To bring together a group of fifteen different individuals, all with strong connections to their own groups of people, suddenly we’ve brought breadth and depth to the conversation, bringing everyone together in a collaborative way. It’s very rewarding to feel a part of something so monumental,” she said.
The City of Perth’s volunteers will be formally recognised for their volunteering service at a morning and afternoon tea on 18 May and 19 May.